Is satisficing responsible for response order effects in rating scale questions?

Keusch, Florian ; Yan, Ting

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-524992
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2018
The title of a journal, publication series: Survey Research Methods : SRM
Volume: 12
Issue number: 3
Page range: 259-270
Place of publication: Konstanz
Publishing house: European Survey Research Assoc.
ISSN: 1864-3361
Related URLs:
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Statistik u. Sozialwiss. Methodenlehre (Juniorprofessur) (Keusch 2016-2021)
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
310 Statistics
Abstract: Rating scales are used extensively in surveys. A rating scale can descend from the highest to the lowest point or from the positive to the negative pole. A rating scale can also start with the lowest point (or the negative pole) and ascend to the highest point (or the positive pole). Previous research has shown that the direction of the scale, i.e., the order of the response options, has an impact on responses, and that respondents are more likely to select response options close to the starting point of the scale, regardless of whether the scale ascends or descends. This paper advances the literature by examining empirically whether or not the response order effect in rating scale questions is driven by satisficing. Drawing on data from five experiments, we found that scale direction had a significant and extreme impact on response distributions. Although the effect of scale direction was stronger among speeders than non-speeders, the effect was observed across the board among those who were at a high risk of satisficing and those who were not.
Additional information: Online-Ressource

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